Monday, 13 August 2012

Loony conversions

The day after we arrived in Sweden, Halland I found 4 Black-throated Divers (Gavia arctica/Parelduiker) on a small lake at walking distance from our summer cottage. Beforehand I did not plan for anything special, photographically I mean (the main idea of the summer holiday is to relax a bit and to take things as they come, isn’t it?). However, at the very instant I saw these beautiful taiga birds (still in full summer plumage!) a small project was born.

I improvised a bit and created a camouflaged hiding place from which I had a low POV on the lake. Here are some results of this week. The first picture is actually from the first evening, the other one was taken early in the morning as you can see. Luckily there was sunny high-pressure weather for a couple of days, that is to say, not much wind and no clouds during the night. As a consequence temperatures dropped down from 25°C during daytime to about 5°C in early morning, creating a ‘steaming’ lake!

Besides the loons the lake was completely empty. The numbers of Black-throated Divers on the lake varied between 1 and 9, only adults. Strangely I never saw any youngsters. I had the impression that after the breeding season they bring visits to one another’s lake. May be to do some communal fishing, or to discuss their breeding success, or to have a debate about the fish quality. It is also possible that they already decide who is going to hold territory on which lake next year. Who knows? Anyhow the sound they make is unbelievable, it echoes over the water and is eerie. You feel it going down right in your spine.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 500mm/f4 IS and 1.4x; ISO-800, f5.6, 1/160s; from beanbag.
* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 500mm/f4 IS and 1.4x; ISO-800, f5.6, 1/320s; +0.3 stop; from tripod.


Lasse said...

Gorgeous shots !!

Gerard Schouten said...

Thanx, I was a wonderful experience to see (and hear!) the loons in Sweden!

Jowan said...

Prachtig en sfeervol! En wat een waarneming...
Je verlangt gewoon naar meer van zulke beelden wanneer je deze opnames ziet.